Five U.S. freestyle wrestlers were undefeated after the first day of competition at the 2000 World University Wrestling Championships in Tokyo, Japan, Nov. 3
The United States wrestlers with a perfect record were Teague Moore (Pittsburgh, Pa./Sunkist Kids) at 119 pounds, Eric Larkin (Tempe, Ariz./Sunkist Kids) at 138.75 pounds, Stephen Abas (Fresno, Calif./Sunkist Kids) at 127.75 pounds, Byron Tucker (Norman, Okla./Sunkist Kids) at 167.5 pounds and Chad Lamer (Iowa City, Iowa/Hawkeye WC) at 213.75 pounds.
Moore, Larkin and Lamer all claimed their pool competitions, and have advanced to the semifinal rounds, scheduled for Sunday, Nov. 5. Abas and Tucker still have matches in their pools on Saturday, Nov. 4, and would advance to the semifinals with victories.
Larkin won three matches on the first day. In the morning session, he defeated Istvan Dencsik of Hungary, 10-2, and Babak Halakouie of Iran, 8-4. In the second session, he scored an impressive technical fall over Brad Hotchkiss of Canada, 13-3 at 4:34. Larkin, an Arizona State student, is currently ranked No. 3 in the United States on the Senior level.
Moore won both of his bouts to capture his pool, stopping Michael Stitt of Canada, 7-0 and Kim Hyo-Sub of Korea, 3-0 in overtime at 6:26. Moore, a former Oklahoma State NCAA champion, is currently ranked No. 3 in the United States on the Senior level.
Lamer dominated his pool, scoring a 10-0 technical fall over Owen Dawkins of Canada in 3:29 and pinning Neeme Jaanseon of Estonia in 2:23. Lamer, a former star at South Dakota State, is ranked No. 4 in the USA on the Senior level.
Abas has a 2-0 record in a four-athlete pool, and has one more match to go. He edged Shingo Harai of Japan, 7-6 and stopped Hwang Hwang-Woong of Korea, 7-0. His final pool match will be against Aliaksandr Karntiski of Belarus, who is also 2-0 so far in the tournament.
Abas, a 1999 NCAA champion for Fresno State, is competing in his senior season in college after taking a redshirt year in 2000. He holds a No. 4 national ranking at 119 pounds on the Senior level, but has moved up a weight class in this tournament.
Tucker only had one bout on the first day, scoring an injury default against Joris Stortoni of Belgium in 4:37. Tucker will face Sean Pierson of Canada on Saturday to complete his pool. Tucker, a 2000 NCAA champion at the Univ. of Oklahoma, holds a No. 4 Senior-level ranking in the United States.
Two U.S. wrestlers had 1-1 records and did not win their pools: Casey Cunningham (Colorado Springs, Colo./Sunkist Kids) at 152 pounds and Cael Sanderson (Ames, Iowa/Sunkist Kids) at 187.25 pounds.
In his first match, Cunningham lost to Yuji Kudo of Japan, 3-2. He then defeated Neal Ewers of Canada, 14-6. Kudo also defeated Ewers to claim the pool. Cunningham was a 1999 NCAA champion for Central Michigan and was an 2000 U.S. Olympic Team Trials qualifier.
Sanderson also opened with a loss to Alexei Kaziev of Russia, 4-2, then scored a dominant 17-4 technical fall over Gregory Martinetti of Switzerland in 3:17. Kaziev also defeated Martinetti and won the pool. Sanderson is a two-time NCAA champion for Iowa State, and is competing in his junior season. He was also a 2000 U.S. Olympic Team Trials qualifier.
The freestyle athletes are coached by Freestyle Developmental Coach Mike Duroe and Freestyle Resident Coach Kevin Jackson, who work full-time at USA Wrestling's national headquarters in Colorado Springs, Colo.
To participate, an athlete must be 17-28 years old, must be a current college student, or be graduated from a university within a year of the competition.
The U.S. team was selected based upon performance on the national level, with National Team ranking, Olympic and Regional Trials and Resident athlete participation the top criteria. In addition, performance at USA Wrestling age-group national events was also part of the selection process.
The competition is being held at the Sports Hall at the National Olympic Memorial Youth Center in Tokyo. The Greco-Roman portion of the tournament is set for November 6-8.
WORLD UNIVERSITY FREESTYLE WRESTLING CHAMPIONSHIPS at Tokyo, Japan, November 3
U.S. Freestyle Team results - Day one
54 kg/119 lbs. - Teague Moore, Pittsburgh, Pa. (Sunkist Kids) - dec. Michael Stitt (Canada), 7-0; dec. Kim Hyo-Sub (Korea), 3-0, ot, 6:26
58 kg/127.75 lbs. - Stephen Abas, Fresno, Calif. (Sunkist Kids) - dec. Shingo Harai (Japan), 7-6; dec. Hwang Hwang-Woong (Korea), 7-0
63 kg/138.75 lbs. - Eric Larkin, Tempe, Ariz. (Sunkist Kids) - dec. Istvan Dencsik (Hungary), 10-2; dec. Babak Halakouie (Iran), 8-4; won by tech. fall over Brad Hotchkiss (Canada), 13-3, 4:34
69 kg/152 lbs. - Casey Cunningham, Colorado Springs, Colo. (Sunkist Kids) - lost dec. to Yuji Kudo (Japan), 3-2; dec. Neal Ewers (Canada), 14-6
76 kg/167.5 lbs. - Byron Tucker, Norman, Okla. (Sunkist Kids) - won by inj. dft. over Joris Stortoni (Belgium), 4:37
85 kg/187.25 lbs. - Cael Sanderson, Ames, Iowa (Sunkist Kids) - lost dec. to Alexei Kaziev (Russia), 4-2; won by tech. fall over Gregory Martinetti (Switzerland), 17-4, 3:17
97 kg/213.75 lbs. - Chad Lamer, Iowa City, Iowa (Hawkeye WC) - won by tech. fall over Owen Dawkins (Canada), 10-0, 3:29; pin Neeme Jaanseon (Estonia), 2:23
130 kg/286 lbs. - no entry
Coaches - Freestyle Developmental Coach Mike Duroe, Colorado Springs, Colo. and Freestyle Resident Coach Kevin Jackson, Colorado Springs, Colo.
For complete results of every match of the first day, visit TheMat.com, the Ultimate Source for Real Wrestling.